From global honours to national controversy
18.01.2024

Aussies on the world stage 

In Denmark, Mary Donaldson has made history becoming the first Australian-born queen of a European monarchy, following the abdication of Margrethe II.  

Awards season is in full swing in the US with Aussies Margot Robbie (Barbie), Elizabeth Debicki (The Crown) and Sarah Snook all winning accolades. Sarah Snook received a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award and an Emmy all in the same week for her role as media heiress, Shiv Roy, in HBO’s Succession 

On home soil, the Australian Open (AO) has kicked off with 18 Aussies in the main draw. Leading the charge is 10th seed Alex de Minuar who is the first Australian man to make his top 10 debut since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2000.  

Woolworths boycott debacle 

Woolworths has announced it will not be selling Australia Day merchandise citing “a gradual decline in demand”. Despite his previous denouncement of ‘cancel culture’, Opposition leader Peter Dutton has called on Australians to boycott the grocery store, claiming the decision was against the national interest. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has publicly warned Dutton about the impact of his statement on Australian workers. 

Erosion of trust in emerging technologies  

A new federal government report on the safe and responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Australia has revealed low trust in growing technologies. The paper highlighted that only a third of Australians believe that there are adequate guardrails for the design and development of AI. The government has pledged to set up an expert advisory group on development of AI policy. Tech companies could be asked to watermark or label content that has been generated by AI. 

Research finds women increasingly turning to social media for news 

New research from the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research Centre (N&MRC) has revealed that women are increasingly more disengaged with news than their male counterparts, particularly younger generations. When they do access news, it is predominately through social media. The lead researcher stated that there is a risk that women and minorities could become further disenfranchised from mainstream social and political debates as news plays a vital role in fostering national identity and social cohesion.  

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